Photo credit: Alex Azabache

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

This article tells us that Representative Dan Beyer’s Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act was included in a larger Act that President Biden signed into law. The larger Act, called the CHIPS and Science Act, aims to increase energy independence and improve energy affordability. Representative Beyer recognizes that aviation emissions have to be tackled as part of the country’s efforts to deal with the climate crisis, saying that technology must be developed that makes flights quieter as well as cleaner.

The legislation aims to set a goal for cleaner, quieter aircraft as part of NASA’s aeronautics efforts to reduce “greenhouse gas and noise emissions.” The legislation, we learn, sets a goal for commercial aircraft to lower their greenhouse gas emission by fifty per cent compared to the “highest performing aircraft in 2021.” An additional goal – net zero emissions by 2050.

With respect to noise reduction, Beyer’s bill asks NASA to “accelerate its work on electrified propulsion systems” and to employ further technologies and airframe concepts to lessen noise. Then NASA will provide the data from their work to the Federal Aviation Administration to assist the agency in ensuring “safe and effective deployment of these technologies.”

Representative Beyer is a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus and his efforts to lessen aircraft noise are certainly appreciated. Yet, as this article indicates, the FAA will oversee the implementation of technologies to curb aircraft noise. To those who have been combating aircraft noise for years, the FAA has not been viewed as an agency most sensitive to their requests for less aircraft noise. I hope that Representative Beyer and the Quiet Skies Caucus will follow through with the FAA as to how the agency will enforce the information provided by NASA.